George Young

Senior Media Relations Officer

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30 October 2018

The UK is back in the top ten most generous countries in the world, according to the CAF World Giving Index – the world’s leading measure of global generosity.

The UK jumped five places in a year, and is now the 6th most generous country in the world. 

Ireland is the only country in Europe that is more generous, coming in at 5th place. Last year, the UK fell to number 11 in the annual global index. 

The survey shows that one in three (33%) said they volunteered in the past month, up from 28% last year.

Sixty-eight per cent of people gave money – up slightly from 64% last year – and 63% helped a stranger – again, up from 58%. 

Levels of giving across Africa are continuing to grow, confirming a trend which appeared in last year’s Index. While last year’s report showed that every western country in the top 20 had a lower giving score, this decline has now largely been reversed. 

Indonesia tops the CAF World Giving Index for the first time. While its three individual giving scores are largely unchanged on last year, it has moved into the top spot. Polling was carried out in 2017, and so before the earthquake and tsunami which struck the country in September 2018. 

Myanmar, the most generous country on earth for 2017, fell to 9th place in the rankings, owing largely to a fall in the number of people volunteering. The United States moved up one place to 4th in the rankings.

More than half of people in 146 countries (51.1%) said they helped a stranger, up from 49.6% last year. 

The Index is published just under a month before #GivingTuesday – 27 November – the global day of giving when people are asked to give their time, money or voice to a good cause.

The CAF World Giving Index, the leading comparative study of global generosity, records the number of people who helped a stranger in the past month, volunteered their time (21.1%, up from 20.8% last year) or gave money to a good cause (29.1%, down slightly from 29.6% last year). This year more than 150,000 people in 146 countries were surveyed as part of the Gallup World Poll. As a result, the Index highlights statistically significant global shifts in behaviour even when changes may appear to be small.

Findings include:

•   This year’s Index shows high levels of generosity in Haiti, with the country featuring in the top 20 for the first time

   Singapore also features in the top 20 for the first time this year, having ranked as low as 64th place just five years ago. There have been increases in volunteering and helping a stranger, which may be as a result of a number of schemes to increase volunteering in the country over recent years

   Libya was the most generous in terms of helping a stranger, where 83% of people reported having done so
The Index, now in its ninth year, shows high levels of generosity in some countries experiencing civil war, conflict and unrest, showing how the human urge to help others comes through even in some of the most troubled nations on Earth.

In many countries, men remain more likely than women to have volunteered time (22.6% compared with 19.5%) but the slight global increase in volunteering time has been driven more by women, who increased their participation rate by 0.5 percentage points year on year. There is, however, little difference between men and women when it comes to donating money.

World Giving Index 2018

Sir John Low, Chief Executive of the Charities Aid Foundation, an international charity which helps people and companies give worldwide, said: 

“It is forever humbling to see how people across the world continue to be moved to help others, giving their time, donating money and helping strangers. It is a basic human instinct to lend a helping hand, and it is always amazing to see how people in countries which have suffered conflict and natural disasters are stirred to help those in need. 

“It is good news that this year’s CAF World Giving Index shows a continued increase in giving across Africa. It is also encouraging that last year’s decline in western countries seems to have been reversed.

“But we should be concerned that for the second year running there has been a decline in the proportion of people donating money to good causes. It is a reminder to all of us in civil society that we should never take giving for granted.”

Download the 2018 CAF World Giving Index

Notes to editors:


The World Giving Index is primarily based upon data from Gallup’s World Poll, which is an ongoing research project carried out in more than 146 countries in 2017 that together represent around 95% of the world’s population (around 5.2 billion people). The survey asks questions on many different aspects of life today including giving behaviour. The countries surveyed and questions asked in each region varies from year to year and is determined by Gallup. More detail on Gallup’s methodology can be viewed online. 

About CAF

CAF exists to make giving go further, so that more lives and communities around the world can be transformed.

CAF is a charity and a champion for better giving, and for over 90 years has helped donors, companies, charities and social organisations make a bigger impact. Through CAF Bank, it offers simple and straightforward day-to-day banking, designed exclusively for charities.

We are CAF and we make giving count 


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